Around the NFL, players are preparing for the upcoming 2016 season, but not all of them are at the same stage in their careers as others. Rookies will be entering their first year in the league not quite knowing what to expect, while seasoned veterans more than likely already have a routine they have followed for a while now.
It’s the players entering their second year in the league that seem to struggle and go through some kind of regression, often referred to as their sophomore slump.
Have you ever wondered why that is?
My theory is that as rookies, the players are kept so busy after their final college game finding an agent, training, interviews, and different workouts with teams, that they don’t have time to become complacent. They are drafted and are kind of thrown into the fire. They have to move to a new city, learn a new playbook, and have to get to know their new teammates all in a matter of months before the season kicks off.
Entering their second year in the league though they have to kind of learn how to do things for themselves. They don’t have someone holding their hand anymore telling them when they need to workout or prepare for the upcoming season. They have the entire off-season to themselves and it’s up to them to figure out how to become a professional.
Sometimes all it really takes to stay on track is self-motivation and often times that simple personality trait can help avoid the dreaded sophomore slump.
Well, that’s my theory anyway.
In regards to the Dallas Cowboys, they have a few players that are entering their second seasons in the NFL and should be major contributors to the team’s success or failure in 2016.
Byron Jones and La’el Collins should both be starters when the season kicks off, and one or both of them could struggle with the so-called sophomore slump.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m not too concerned about Collins struggling because if all else fails the Cowboys can always resort to putting Ronald Leary back at left guard, but they don’t have that luxury with Jones.
It’s no secret that the Cowboys secondary is probably one of the weak links in their chain, and one of the reasons why Jones was so valuable to the defense in 2015.
Jones played a variety of positions on defense in 2015. He played as an outside corner, in the slot, free safety, and even as a dime linebacker.
It was really encouraging to see how well he responded to everything that was thrown at him as a rookie and that is one of the reasons why I have a hard time seeing Jones have any kind of sophomore slump.
If the rumors are true, then Jones will be moving to free safety full-time and will only have to focus solely on learning the intricacies of playing that position. He won’t have to jump back and forth from corner to safety, and it should really help him improve as a player.
The Cowboys organization and especially the defense, is really expecting big things from Jones in 2016. I don’t think he can afford to go through a sophomore slump if the team expects to make any kind of run for the playoffs.
So, do you think Byron Jones will have a sophomore slump in 2016?
Please feel free to use the comment section below so that we can discuss this topic further.